Archive for December 13th, 2007

Writing yesterday, as I was, about how young my kids were when we brought them home from Cambodia had me waxing all nostalgically over their babyhoods … that isn’t really as messy as it sounds … and how fast the time has flown and they have grown.

Sam is now five, and Cj is well on her way to three, and although I appreciate that driving and shaving are still some time off it will feel like less than an eye-blink before Sam apologizes for a bristly kiss and Cj is asking for the car keys.

The fact that I’ve been here before prevents me from ducking under any cover of illusion that childhood is a long process. With my oldest now 38, and all 38 of those years feeling as here and gone as my youngest’s most recent Tuesday, fooling myself into thinking that I can in any way drag out the days of diapers and drool is simply not possible.

Speaking of drool, it is partially development I’m contemplating this afternoon … the stages my children have approached, mastered, passed through, then left behind. Each in their own time and their own fashion has crawled and sat and walked and gurgled and talked and sang. Reading, writing, juggling, skating, calculating, creating, skiing, driving, diving are accomplishments some claim and others can anticipate, and as smooth little bodies morph into bumpy big ones, Mom stands amazed by the process and overawed by the people my children become.

Now … if I were in charge of the program, it would happen a bit differently.

For starters, I would slow down the process and install pause buttons, and possibly a rewind.

Having Cj mangle “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” so adorably one day, but spout the whole thing with barely a “wittel” to be heard the next doesn’t give nearly enough time to commit the baby version for posterity, and it’s not fair that she grows out of that stage so fast when I’m so busy.

Now that Sam is a real boy without a shred of the baby or toddler he was left in him, I’m having trouble remembering what method of crawl he used and what he looked like when he ran down the beach on chubby little legs. A brief rewind would bring it all back and let me focus on all the details I missed at the time.

I clearly remember an evening in 1971 when I made a point of branding an image of my son Jaren, now 36 but then about 5 months old, onto my brain. I noticed every detail, dwelled upon every feature, took in as much as I possibly could and fixed it all in my mind’s eye. To this day, I can bring it back, even recalling the pattern on the overalls he wore.

But I didn’t do that with all the minutes, all the scenes … not nearly often enough and certainly not with as much attention as each deserved … and so much is now beyond the reach of my memory.

If it had gone slower, if I’d been able to pause from time to time, I’d have more now. The kids might not appreciate the rewind feature, though.

Sam 5 months
Sam at five months. Time has flown!

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